Ahhh, spring. The season of corn snow, outdoor après, and goggle tans. As the temps warm up, the energy at the resort changes. You’ll see fewer shivering hands around the fire pit at South Ridge and more skiing in t-shirts (and costumes). But knowing how to ski soft snow, what to wear, and how to enjoy the warm temps on the slopes is the best way to make the most of spring in the mountains.
How to Ski Spring Conditions
Spring conditions can be fun, bouncy, and soft, but they can also be slushy and sticky if the sun’s too high in the sky. Here are our tips for skiing in the spring:
- Sleep In a Little Bit
The drastic temperature drops that can occur during the evening during springtime means come morning, the mountain may be a bit frozen for your liking. Normally we are advocates for first chair, but waiting for the sun to heat up the snow a little bit during March and April might make things easier.
- Weight Distribution Matters
Similar to powder skiing, it’s a good idea to be a little more two-footed as it relates to pressure distribution between both feet – as opposed to heavily leaning on one side or another when you’re turning.
- Spring Wax Makes a Difference
Remember to get your skis tuned up and ready for spring – there are waxes that are specifically designed for wet snow. Red and pink waxes are best.
- Stay In the Shade In the Afternoon
This advice is kind of the opposite of our first tip. If you’re out skiing past midday, try and stick to trails higher up or those shaded by the trees. If the sun has been beating down on the snow all day, it’s likely past the point of “soft and fun” and has landed at sticky and slushy. Shaded trails will have avoided major melting.
Spring Skiing Attire
To make the best of the season, you’ll need to dress right. Some days that means your classic insulated jacket and pants, but when the temperature is warming up, you’ll probably want to switch to a shell jacket and pants, preferably with lots of zippers for ventilating. If the weather’s extra nice, you may not even need a jacket! In this case, we highly encourage funky costumes and bright colors. Why not go all out on spring’s sunniest days? Think Hawaiian shirts, neon leggings, retro sunglasses – the groovier, the better. The one thing we ask: please keep your shirts on! And remember, sunscreen is your friend.
Optimize the Après
Peak deck season is upon us, which means seeking out the best après on the mountain. In order to have the best experience at après this season, we recommend making a reservation to ensure your spot on those sweet sunny afternoons (or mornings, we won’t judge). Our favorite spots to hit up after shredding include the beloved Foggy Goggle for nachos, Barker Bar for those days when all you want to do is lap Barker and drink beer, and the Sliders deck for some Italian favorites with a cocktail. Finished up on the mountain for the day? Check out Steam Mill Brewing or the Millbrook Tavern at the Bethel Inn, which have awesome outdoor set ups for more post-ski beers.
Spring skiing is all about making the best of the last few weeks of winter. Get out as often as you can with friends and family. Here at Sunday River, we want you to be able to send ‘til the end!